Cardinals Winter League Notebook: Wk 11, Pt 1

Results from Cardinals prospects competing last week in Australia, the Dominican, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Jermaine Curtis is changing homes for the post-season.

Australian League

Stats are through the games of December 30th.

Perth Heat –
Perth hosted first-place Canberra and dropped the first three before salvaging the final game. The team has not won a series since the beginning of December and is now in a two-way tie with Sydney for second, two and a half games behind Canberra.
- Adam Melker: Melker remains on the Reserve List and did not participate in the series.
Season-to-date: .247/.354/.358/.712, 81 AB, 20 R, 20 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 11 BB, 17 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 3 HBP, .297 BABIP

Sydney Blue Sox –
Sydney faced Adelaide at home where they matched Canberra's pace by going 3-1. They move into a tie for second with Perth, as mentioned above.
- Geoff Klein: Klein was on fire this week, hitting safely in all four starts for the Blue Sox. Three of his five hits went for extra bases, including two doubles and a solo shot. The catcher drew four free passes against three strikeouts, with two runs scored and two driven in while batting sixth. Base runners were 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts and Klein himself stole a base on Sunday. He was also picked off first by the opposing pitcher during Friday's contest. His weekly stats: .455/.600/.909, 1.509, 5-for-11 with a .571 BABIP.
Season-to-date: .255/.327/.333/.661, 102 AB, 7 R, 26 H, 5 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 11 BB, 24 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, .325 BABIP

Dominican (Winter) League

Play-off stats are through December 30th.

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Aguilas has a 3-1 record so far in the round-robin style play-offs. They dropped their first contest against Escogido but have won the next three.
- Audry Perez: Perez' time in the Dominican Winter League came to a premature halt when he suffered what was described as ‘mild collateral ligament damage' to his right knee after only two games. While a subsequent report indicated that he would return by early November, that proved not to be the case. Perez' season was done.
- Oscar Taveras: Aguilas' Rookie of the Year had a fine campaign for the Cibaenas. He appeared in 39 of Aguilas' 50 games, all starts. Overall, Taveras went 48-for-152 with 12 doubles, one triple and five long balls for a line of .316/.379/.507/.885. He drew 14 base-on-balls against 21 strikeouts which works out to 8.3% of his plate appearances were walks and 12.4% were strikeouts. Taveras scored 27 runs and drove in 17 with three stolen bases and one caught stealing. He had a .339 BABIP and .184 ISO. Position-wise, he played center three times, right 32 times and was the designated hitter in four games. Taveras was charged with five errors. He continues to play for Aguilas in the round-robin portion of the playoffs with four starts as the right fielder in as many games.

His regular season really breaks down into three sections: 1) From the season's start on October 14th to October 30th, 2) from October 31st to November 27th and 3) From November 28th to December 21st, season's end.
10/14/12 to 10/30/12
10 team games, 10 starts. Taveras started out with a bang, going .395/.425/.658/1.083, 15-for-38 in 10 games, with two doubles, his only triple of the season, two home runs, two free passes (5.0%) and five strikeouts (12.5%). He was 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts, committed one error, touched home seven times and knocked in three with a .419 BABIP and .237 ISO. Taveras played center in three of Aguilas' first five games then never played it again. He was in right six times and DH'd once. Taveras began the season batting seventh or eighth before sliding up to sixth for four games then moving into the four slot on October 30th.
10/31/12 to 11/27/12
23 team games, 18 starts. Taveras missed Aguilas' first three games of the period due to the passing of his grandmother. He returned on November 3rd and went .239/.342/.358/.700 over the next 18 of Aguilas' 20 games, 16-for-67 with two doubles and two blasts, nine walks (11.4%) and nine strikeouts (11.4%). Taveras was 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts, was charged with two errors, scored 12 runs and drove in 10 with a .246 BABIP and .119 ISO.
He was the designated hitter twice, right fielder 16 times and did not play two times. Taveras batted clean-up in each of his seven starts until November 14th when Manny Ramirez joined the team. After that point the 20-year-old mainly hit fifth or sixth with Ramirez acting as the designated hitter and batting clean-up.
11/28/12 to 12/21/12
17 team games, 11 starts. Taveras started nine of the Cibaenas' next 10 games through December 11th, did not play from December 12th through 18th before starting the final two games of the regular season. He rebounded to the tune of .362/.400/.596/.996, 17-for-47, with eight doubles, one home run, three walks (6.0%), five strikeouts (14%), eight runs scored and four knocked in. He had a .410 BABIP, .234 ISO and committed two errors. Taveras was the right fielder in ten contests and DH'd once, batting fifth six times, sixth four times and fourth once.
Regular Season: .316/.379/.507/.885, 152 AB, 27 R, 48 H, 12 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 14 BB, 21 SO, 3 SB, 1 CS, 5 E, .339 BABIP, .184 ISO, 8.3% BB/PA, 12.4% K/PA
Round-Robin Stats: .235/.235/.471/.706, 17 AB, 4 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .231 BABIP

Gigantes del Cibao –
The Gigantes finished a game out of a play-off spot with a 22-29 record.
- Ronny Gil: Gil appeared in 23 of the Gigantes' 51 games, 11 of them starts. He did not get much playing time in the early going with only three at bats in one start as the designated hitter to go with two pinch running appearances through the first 10 games. Gil got his first field start at second on November 4th, a position at which he started three times and entered as a defensive replacement twice. All seven of his starts at short came in Cibao's last 16 games, including five starts in the Gigantes' final nine games. He was substituted in at short during two other contests. Gil was a regular fixture in the nine hole, batting there eight times to go with two starts batting second and one in the three slot. Defensively, three of his five errors occurred in his last three starts at short, two throwing and one fielding.
Offensively, Gil never got into a consistent rhythm which is difficult to do when you do not get steady at bats. Through November 13th the most plate appearances he received in any given week were four. That more than doubled to at least nine plate appearances in four of the remaining five reporting periods but is still not much.
Season: .277/.333/.340/.674, 47 AB, 6 R, 13 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 9 SO, 5 SB, 1 CS, 5 E, .324 BABIP, .000 ISO, 7.8% BB/PA, 17.6% K/PA

Leones del Escogido –
Escogido went 2-2 this week. Further information on them will appear here if either of the Cardinals' minor leaguers shows up in a boxscore.
- Keith Butler: Butler's time in the Dominican Winter League encompassed six relief appearances over a span of 12 games in November. He debuted on November 9th when he issued a free pass to the first batter faced, plunked the next one and finished his stint with a sac bunt. Butler's last appearance was on November 24th where he inherited two in scoring position with none out and allowed both to cross, thus saddling his predecessor with a loss. Overall, Butler came into two situations with two runners aboard and all four scored. The righty fanned an average of six batters every nine innings and walked an average of three. While he posted a sparkling 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and held the opposition to a .211 batting average, his FIP was 5.53 and he was a very low .214 BABIP.
Season: 1.50 ERA/5.53 FIP, 6 G, 0 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1.00 WHIP, .211 BAA, .214 BABIP, 4 IR/4 IRS
- Starlin Rodriguez: Cardinal Nation's 17th-ranked prospect fanned as a pinch hitter on October 19th and started at second on November 2nd, batting seventh, singling and scoring in three bats. That was his season.
Season: .250/.250/.250/.500, 4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .500 BABIP

Toros del Este –
Este went 3-1 to date in the play-offs, their sole loss coming at the hands of Aguilas.
- Jamie Romak: Romak was a very late addition to Este's roster, joining the squad in mid-December. He started in six of the Toros' remaining seven contests, once at third and the rest in left. Romak hit second once, sixth once and clean-up four times. He started at first in the first two games of the round-robin portion of the play-offs, going hitless in seven at bats with three strikeouts. Romak did not play the most recent two contests.
Regular Season: .280/.308/.440/.748, 25 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 2 E, .333 BABIP, .150 ISO, 3.8% BB/PA, 23.1% K/PA
Round-Robin Stats: .000/.000/.000/.000, 7 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 SO, 28.3% K/PA

Tigres del Licey –
Licey finished with a 21-29 record which put them out of a play-off slot.
- Maikel Cleto: Cleto first pitched for Licey on November 4th, three weeks into the regular season. He appeared seven more times in the Tigres' next 19 games, with his last appearance coming on November 26th. There were three appearances from the 4th through the 9th (6 games), three appearances from the 10th through the 19th (7 games) and then twice from the 20th through the 26th (7 games). While Cleto carried a 0.00 ERA through his first four appearances with no hits yielded, that did not reflect control issues that led to four base-on-balls against just two strikeouts in 3.1 innings which worked out to a 5.60 FIP. He walked only one batter of the next 20 faced with three more strikeouts that brought his FIP down to 3.83. There were runners on base half of the time that Cleto came into a game, three times with multiple runners on and all of his chances came with at least one runner in scoring position. The right-hander came through in three of his four chances with his only failure coming when he wild pitched in the winning run to the first batter faced. Despite his effectiveness, Cleto did not make a relief appearance after November 26th.
Season: 1-2, 1.13 ERA/3.83 FIP, 8 G, 0 GS, 1 SV, 8 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1.13 WHIP, .129 BAA, .154 BABIP, 8 IR/1 IRS
- Victor Marte: Marte made 13 appearances for the Tigres from November 14th through the season's end on December 21st. He inherited runners in only three of those appearances but each included a runner in scoring position and two outs. Marte recorded the final out in each case. The righty yielded at least one earned run five times, including three of his last five appearances. Five of the seven runs he allowed in all scored after Marte had left the game. Since Licey did not qualify for the play-offs, Marte joined Magallanes of the Venezuelan League.
Season: 2-1, 4.40 ERA/3.34 FIP, 13 G, 0 GS, 3 SV, 14.1 IP, 12 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 13 SO, 1.12 WHIP, .214 BAA, .262 BABIP, 4 IR/0 IRS

Mexican Pacific League

Stats are through games of December 30th.

Caneros de Los Mochis –
The Caneros went 2-2 with their final game cancelled due to rain and did not qualify for the six-team play-offs. Jermaine Curtis was selected by the Yaquis de Obregon in the play-off draft and will join them for the post-season.
- Jermaine Curtis: Curtis was the starting third baseman in all four of Los Mochis' contests, batting second (twice), eighth and third (once). His offensive slump continued as he managed just a single and a double in 11 at bats with two walks, two strikeouts and three sac bunts for a weekly line of .182/.357/.273/.630. Curtis was hit by a pitch once and did not commit an error. His regular season with Los Mochis will be reviewed next week as well as his on-going performance with Obregon.
Season: .306/.405/.372/.777, 180 AB, 27 R, 55 H, 9 2B, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 30 BB, 25 SO, 9 SB, 2 CS, .344 BABIP, 4 E
- Anthony Ferrara: Ferrara picked up his first win in his last start for the Caneros on the 26th. The southpaw was the beneficiary of a six-run first by Los Mochis, allowing single tallies in the second and fifth then two more in the sixth. Ferrara did not record an out in the sixth, issuing free passes to the first two batters then departing after an error by his shortstop loaded the bases. The 23-year-old yielded seven hits and four walks in five plus for four runs, three earned. He had seven ground outs, two fly outs and three strikeouts and threw 97 pitches, 61 for strikes. Ferrara plunked a batter as well.
Season: 3.68 ERA/3.27 FIP, 4 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 HB, 9 BB, 16 SO, 1.50 WHIP, .250 BAA, .342 BABIP

Venados de Mazatlan –
Mazatlan went 2-3 this week. Although they made the play-offs, the Venados will n
ot be followed in the post-season since no St. Louis-affiliated players are participating.
- Nick Additon: Additon was shut down effective his last start on December 5th and remains on Mazatlan's Inactive/Reserve list. His season will be reviewed in next week's notebook.
Season: 3.74 ERA/3.50 FIP, 10 G, 10 GS, 53 IP, 49 H, 30 R, 22 ER, 3 HR, 2 HB, 21 BB (2 IBB), 49 SO, 1.32 WHIP, .246 BAA, .309 BABIP, 2.33 K/BB

Puerto Rico League

In news from around the league, Manatai ended its season on an interesting note when they forfeited the first game of a season-ending double-header to Santurce on Sunday because they refused to take the field due to non-payment of their per-diem expenses. (The second game was cancelled.) Manatai, who did not qualify for the post-season, is being accused by some of its players of using that money to pay the clubhouse staff. League officials responded that the per-diem funds were to be included with their wages that were scheduled to be paid on the 31st. Fines are expected to be forth-coming.

Stats are through games of December 30th, the end of the regular season. The play-offs begin on January 2nd with the top four teams playing each other through the 16th and the finals beginning on January 18th.

Criollos de Caguas –
Caguas finished the regular season strong by winning all five games this week to finish at the top of the standings with a 24-16 mark.
- Luis Mateo: Mateo rebounded from a week in which he managed a dismal .200 batting average by producing six singles in 18 at bats for a .333 batting average. However, a combination of no extra-base hits and no base-on-balls produced a very marginal .667 OPS. Mateo touched home three times, knocked in one, stole a base and fanned twice while starting at short five times.
Season: .313/.345/.403/.748, 134 AB, 19 R, 42 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 BB, 28 SO, 7 SB, 0 CS, .380 BABIP, 8 E

Gigantes de Carolina –
Although Carolina won only one of their five games, their 19-21 overall record clinched them the final play-off slot, two games ahead of the Leones. Yadier Molina is undecided on whether he will participate in the play-offs, per an article this week.
- Juan Caballero: Caballero did not pitch this week.
Season: 5.40 ERA/6.19 FIP, 3 G, 0 GS, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 2 SO, 3.00 WHIP, .250 BAA, .333 BABIP
- Anthony Garcia: Garcia started in right for all five contests although he move to left during Saturday's game. He scratched out just two singles and a solo slam in 16 at bats with four free passes for a line of .188/.333/.375/.708. Garcia scored three and drove in three with a sac fly and four strikeouts.
Season: .279/.377/.433/.810, 104 AB, 13 R, 29 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 14 BB, 25 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .338 BABIP, 2 E
- Yadier Molina: Molina continues to be cold at the plate, singling three times and doubling once in 20 at bats over five starts. He was the designated hitter in four of those games and manned first base once where he participated in two 6-4-3 double plays. Molina drove in two, walked and fanned twice each. While he has not announced whether he will take part in the play-offs, his production is clearly not an integral part of Carolina's offense. Molina took his first at bat in the final regular season game on Sunday before being pinch hit for in the fourth. That may well have been his final at bat for the Gigantes.
Season: .231/.293/.365/.658, 52 AB, 2 R, 12 H, 1 2B. 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .213 BABIP, 1 E

Indios de Mayaguez –
Mayaguez went 5-1 to finish second in the standings with a 28-17 mark.
- Hector Hernandez: Hernandez responded to his worst outing of the season on the 19th, in which he has battered for six runs, five earned, in 3.2 innings, with a better effort against Carolina on the 27th. Four of the six hits and one of the three base-on-balls given up by the lefty in total came in a two-run second, the only frame in which he allowed a tally Hernandez was finished after four and benefited from two double plays. He recorded four ground outs, four fly outs and two strike outs. His replacement on the mound was former Cardinals farmhand Mike Parisi.
Season: 4.55 ERA/5.04 FIP, 10 G, 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 33 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 0 HB, 13 BB, 14 SO, 1.66 WHIP, .314 BAA, .333 BABIP

Cangrejeros de Santurce –
Santurce won a game outright, received another win via Manatai's forfeit and lost three this week. They finished with a 20-18 record, third in the standings.
- Javier Machuca: Machuca finally appeared in a game although he did not do very well. The southpaw, who just turned 20 on November 21st, began the eighth with the Cangrejeros down 9-1 and did not retire a batter. Machuca coughed up a solo shot to Caguas' designated hitter who was batting sixth, and a double to right to the next batter. A wild pitch placed the runner on third and he came home on Luis Mateo's single back to the pitcher. Machuca got the hook at that point. Ouch!
- Jonathan Rodriguez: Rodriguez struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning in the same game that featured a Machuca sighting. He played left in the ninth frame of that contest. Rodriguez started at third on the 28th and 29th, going a combined 1-for-6 with a walk, one run scored and two strike outs.
Season: .235/.381/.382/.763, 34 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 14 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, .368 BABIP

Coming soon: Part two of this report will cover Cardinals prospects' results the past week in the Venezuelan League and recap the Venezuelan Parallel League season.

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